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Being Humans

 

While riding early morning from Narsipatnam to Lambasingi I stopped at a village for breakfast. There was a table set out outside a hut along the village road and an old man was making tea. I asked for a cup of tea and something to eat. The old man pointed to the tea and then said something in his local language that I didn’t understand. I made the sign for food and he turned to his wife who was standing close by. She pointed me to a bench outside their hut, asked me to sit down and went inside the hut. After a few moments she emerged with a place of idlis and chutney which I enjoyed along with the tea.

After I was done I asked the old man how much I owed him and he replied with “5 rupees”. I knew I was in one of the most backward areas of India, but 5 bucks seemed too less for a plateful of idlis with chutney and a tea. I showed my astonishment using sign language and the old man pointed to the tea once again. I pointed to the empty plate of idlis and his wife said something which I again didn’t understand. But it seemed that they were charging me only for the tea.

I protested and pointed to the plate once again and they both smiled at me. That was the moment I realised that theirs was merely a tea stall and they had given me some of their own breakfast, which meant there would be less for their family to eat that morning.

I stayed quiet for a moment as I wrapped my head around what had just happened. I then reached into my wallet, took out some money and handed it to the old man. He refused to take it, but I insisted and after some pleading he finally gave in.

As I rode up the ghat to Lambasingi I couldn’t stop thinking about the old couple and the life lesson I learned from them. You haven’t truly given until you have given till it hurts.

This post seems to have gone viral on social media and many have asked me for the location of this hut so that they can stop by and meet the couple. Here is the location on a Google Map.

https://goo.gl/maps/vkeNdXj3Ze52

 

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